Women and Intestate Succession in Islamic Law
A. O. Yekini
affiliation not provided to SSRN
May 3, 2008
Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World Paper No. 08-49
All praise is due to Allah, the Creator of the Universe. The supremacy of His laws is unequivocally affirmed because they are imbued with eternal justice and perfection. Despite the perfection in these laws, there are several protests from some western scholars and orientalists against its efficacy and certain Muslims are of similar attitudes. One area that is a subject of attack is the area of the Status of Women in Islam. With particular reference to inheritance, it is widely believed that the Islamic law of inheritance is unjust to women. In fact, some have described Islam as a misogynist religion. A western scholar puts the injustice of Shariah against women thus: "While both a male and female ascendants and descendants can inherit, a woman has half the share of a man... This means that the more female kin a woman has, the less she and they inherit. Also, a woman who is permanently divorced from her husband has no claim to inheritance. Once again, the woman is apparently disfavored, regardless of marital status in this case" A critical look at the Islamic law of succession reveals that such position must have been held at least per incuriam. This is so because Islamic legal system is so a sophisticated to the extent that if one is not an expert in any of its branches or sub-branches, one cannot make any meaningful contribution to it. Hence, it may not be surprising that those who are making these propositions of inequality of Shariah in the treatment of women are making wrong conclusions because they are not Islamic jurists. This work will show how Islamic law has treated women and how it has given protection to them more than any other legal system of the world be it indigenous, Jewish or Roman.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 76
Keywords: Islamis Law of Succession, women's rightsworking papers series
Date posted: October 5, 2008 ; Last revised: January 27, 2009
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